… a safety pin …

I will never forget that photograph in which a young boy prisoner in S-21 was being held up in a crooked position.  Both of his arms were locked and bound backwards.  All I could see is his torso protruding forward.

A safety pin with a number, No. 17, was assigned to represent this boy.

A safety pin dangles on his paperthin torso. Its needle punctures through his skin.

Punctured.

Tortured.

Ripped.

Broken.

Troubled.

Exposed.

As we prayed for Cambodia last night, with no specific to pray over, with no specific names and circumstances to hover over, yet the Spirit was leading us into a time of intercession.

He settled us in a banquet table of many.

Many that are not published on a monthly bulletin.

Many that the Lord quietly reveal in our hearts of what are truly going on on every shack-filled back alley and tree-lined boulevard.

Many that the Lord quietly weep for of what are outrageously going on in the bleached-white mansions near the beach and windowless karaoke bars.

Many include, but not limited to, deforestation, contaminated lake water, rice crops, sand-dredging, rich westerners waddling with cash, in truckloads, chasing after vanity, peeling skin off one’s dignity.  Daily violence consume every corner of the society like a plague of locust.  Once visited, forever destroyed.

One writer wrote this with such valour when she awaits the wasteland bloom,

My hope no longer had a name, my hope felt weak and incapable. I wanted to spit the words at Him.

Unbeknownst to me, in the still and dark of every night, He let the dawn stretch forth, faithfully and with purpose. The early light of day peered through the single pane windows and my house hummed to life.

Life clings, even in the barren places, the hungry places where we feel heartsick, homesick, bone tired.

Hope can be deferred, but Hope is not dead.

Hope is made real when we ache, and if hope is made real, then the source of this hope is made real.

She nailed it with such vicious valour.

Hope for the nation may be deferred in all visible realities, but Hope is not dead in invisible realities, in places we see not and touch not and tread not.

book

On the backdrop of all these, we turned our eyes onto His Words.  We allow those Words form sounds on our tongues.  Reading every word out loud becomes a hurried command.  A syllable, a phrase, a sentence forms His wisdoms, His understanding and His knowledge.

That’s what He did.  By His wisdom, He laid the earth’s foundation.  By His understanding, He set the heavens in place. By His knowledge, the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.

I pray with the same confidence knowing that with our Lord harnessing all His wisdom, understanding and knowledge, He sets the world in place.  He will be at the side of a hurting nation and keep her foot from being snared.  She will have no fear of sudden disaster, or of the ruins that overtake the wicked.

Father God, we take refuge in Your Word, as you invite us to walk at the edge of such pain, we also feel the pulses that pumps out your Love and Faithfulness.  You promised that you will never leave her without these pillars.  You desire to bind these around her neck, write them on the tablet of her heart.

We were pressed on every side
full of fear and troubled thoughts
for good reason we carried heavy hearts

it is good to come together
in our friendship to remember
all the reasons hope is in our hearts

hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength
hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength

now with patience in our suffering
perseverance in our prayers
with good reason this hope is in our hearts

hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength
hallelujah hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength

oh we saw the face of Angels
many good things well secured
for good reason this joy is in our hearts

hallelujah, hallelujah
Christ our joy and strength

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